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Whether you’re managing a department store or overseeing an entire franchise, you’re likely relying on commercial air conditioning to keep your customers calm, cool and happy.

There are a few ways to get there, though, and the commercial AC you select will have a lot to do with your climate, budget and energy needs.

Three Different Types of Commercial Air Conditioning  

While homes usually rely on boilers and furnaces for indoor winter warmth, commercial businesses usually lean towards rooftop HVAC unit’s heat pumps to meet their heating needs.

What commercial and residential air conditioning units have in common, however, is that both can be categorized according to whether the air conditioning unit is a single-split system or a multi-split system.


  • Single-split Commercial AC

A single-split commercial air conditioning unit is considered the most cost-conscious cooling option and is ideal for smaller commercial spaces.

Due to their construction, single-split commercial air conditioning units furnish each room with its own heating and cooling, which means that you can get the temperature just right if you’re overseeing just a few offices or a more compact work space.

Single-split AC has another advantage as well: If one of your units unexpectedly goes down, the problem is more or less self-contained to that one area and you can carry on with business as usual.


A single-split unit is technically the duo of an indoor air handling unit working alongside a condensing unit situated on the outside of smaller commercial spaces.

This is a great option for homeowners and business owners alike in terms of energy efficiency as well: Single-split commercial AC units typically have the highest seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) around.

  • Multi-split Commercial AC

Multi-split commercial AC units work in a similar way mechanically as single-split commercial air conditioning units, yet allow you to save more space and potentially eke out more energy efficiency.

Multi-split units are ideal for slightly larger commercial spaces that still need each room to be customizable in terms of temperature and comfort. These types of commercial air conditioning units allow you to conjoin together multiple indoor units to one hub outside.


If you’re a business owner who’s working with space limitations or needs your outdoor facade to be absolutely immaculate, then a multi-split commercial AC unit might be the answer. Maybe that’s why multi-split commercial AC units are the go-to choice for medium-sized places like restaurants, shops and specialistic medical facilities.

VRV multi-split air conditioners – variable refrigerant flow control systems – are also an increasingly popular option for commercial spaces wanting more individual room (and floor) zone control.

  • VRF Commercial Air Conditioning

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioning is a newcomer to the HVAC field since it was invented in 1982 over in Japan. VRF commercial air conditioners work in a similar way to mini-split “ductless” systems in that they use a refrigerant to both heat and cool your space.

VRF systems have come into vogue recently because they’re both energy efficient and allow homeowners and business owners alike the chance to have centralized heating-cooling control via home automation and building management systems, respectively.

The fact that VRF systems also use inverters and dual compressors means that you can enjoy better load matching and achieve just the right temperature (and humidity) very efficiently.

What’s really impressive about VRF systems is that they simultaneously sidestep problems you may have encountered before – e.g., rapid cycling or dramatic temperature shifts throughout the day – and avoid harming the environment.

Need Help? 

If you’re feeling lost or need more help finding the right commercial air conditioning for your business, contact us today.